Many appliance failures are simply the result of wear and tear and cannot be prevented. However, other failures are very preventable with proper maintenance. Below are a few key maintenance practices that will help to keep your washer clean, smelling fresh, and functional.
First, it is best to use a powder detergent, rather than a liquid detergent. This is because powder detergent is washed out completely with every cycle whereas liquid detergent leaves residue behind that eventually builds into a layer of soap scum at the bottom of your tub. In either case, it is important to minimize detergent usage. The maximum amount prescribed by the soap manufacturer is almost always too much – you should almost never use more than half of the maximum prescribed amount. It is also recommended to avoid the use of fabric softener as well, and to use dryer balls instead.
You should be running the tub clean or self clean cycle on your washer at least once every few months. Ideally, you should run the tub clean cycle once every couple of months with added vinegar or sodium percarbonate in order to remove the built up soap scum and mineral deposits. The tub clean cycle works by allowing very hot water with additives like vinegar to break down the layer of scum and wash it out.
The washer door should be left open when it is not in use in order to allow it to air out. This will help prevent the development of foul smells and the growth of mold. To the same effect, the washer door gasket should be wiped dry after each load to prevent the growth of mold.
Clean the drain pump filter if it is readily accessible and if you are comfortable with this. Be sure to check that the drain pump filter cap is not leaking after you reinstall it. If you are not completely comfortable with this, call an appliance service company and spare yourself thousands of dollars in water damage. Whether you just want the filter cleaned, or need a Whirlpool or LG washer repair because it isn’t draining, please give General Appliance Repair Ltd in Calgary, Alberta a call and they will be happy to assist you.
Do not overload the washer – generally the tub should not be loaded beyond 3/4’s of its capacity. Overloading strains the tub bearing, especially on front-load washers, and causes wear on the suspension components.
Plug the washer into a surge protector in case there is a voltage spike during an electrical storm that could damage the main circuit board. Or at the very least, unplug the washer during electrical storms.
In conclusion, keeping your washer clean, loading it appropriately, and protecting the electronic controls from electrical surges will keep your washer working as well as it can for as long as it can. Some repairs are unavoidable, but replacing a moldy washer door gasket or control board can be expensive and should be avoided when possible by following these simple precautions.